Your details


Update your details || || Logout


In this section:

Eileen Gray's legacy examined at IMMA, Dublin

— April 2014

Associated media

Berenice Abbott, Portrait of Eileen Gray, Paris, 1926. © Berenice Abbott/Getty Images

An international symposium examining the life, work and legacy of Eileen Gray, one of the most important designers and architects of the 20th century, will be held at the Irish Museum of Modern Art on Tuesday 13 May and Wednesday 14 May 2014. The symposium is presented in association with the Centre Pompidou, Paris, in advance of the much anticipated opening of the restored villa E-1027 in 2015 and following the recent successful exhibition ‘Eileen Gray Architect Designer Painter’ attended by some 80,000 visitors to IMMA. 

The symposium investigates the extraordinary achievements by Gray that went unrecognized until her 90s and focuses on the collaborations and friendships that most shaped her design concepts. Amongst the speakers taking part are: Peter Adam (Filmmaker and Author, Eileen Gray Her Life and Work, 2009) who will discuss his close working friendship and memories of Eileen Gray; Beatriz Colomina (Architectural Historian and Professor of History and Theory of Architecture, Princeton University, USA) who will discuss her research into the unique circumstances of villa E-1027’s creation, history and controversy; Philippe Daniel Garner (Director of Christie’s Auctions and Sales, London) will explain how research into Gray’s work was the impetus into his design interests (In 2009, Christie’s sold a Gray armchair at auction in Paris for €21.9 million, setting an auction record for 20th-century decorative art) and Joseph Rykwert (Architectural Historian, Critic and 2014 RIBA Gold Medalist), who will explore how Gray’s all-embracing work remains a puzzle in the history of architecture, and is one of the most fascinating episodes in the development of European Modernity. All speakers will look at the importance of and critical role women have played within the evolution of architectural theory and design of the 20th and 21st centuries.  

See full programme and a list of speakers for the symposium below.

Tickets €25.00. Purchase tickets from showclix  

Concessions €15.00, Seniors, Unwaged and Students; valid ID required. Email your concession requests to [email protected]      
                                                                                                                           Ticket lines close Monday 12 May 2014.

For further information and images please contact Monica Cullinane or Patrice Molloy at Tel: +353 1 612 9900; Email: [email protected]


Tuesday 13 May 2014

6.00pm Wine reception + registration

6.30pm Prelude discussion, 'My friend Eileen Gray'

Peter Adam (Filmmaker and Author, Eileen Gray Her Life and Work, 2009) opens the symposium.

Peter Adam (Filmmaker and Author of Eileen Gray Her Life and Work) discusses his friendship and memories of Gray in My Friend Eileen Gray.

Screenings of documentary on Eileen Gray, Lecture Room  

Wednesday 14 May 2014

9.30am Tea/coffee and Registration  

10.00am Chairpersons Address 
Kathleen James-Chakraborty(Professor of Art History, University College Dublin) introduces Gray’s work within the historical framework of Bauhaus design.     

10.15am Presentationon Eileen Gray, Architect, Designer, Painter - new discoveries
Cloé Pitiot(Curator of Design, Centre Pompidou, Paris)           

10.45am Presentationon ‘Seizo Sugawara, an enduring collaborator’
Ruth Starr (lecturer, Arts of Japan in the History of Art and Architecture, TCD)   

11.05am Presentationon ‘Eileen Gray’s Irish Roots’
Jennifer Goff (Curator, National Museum of Ireland, Dublin) 

11.25am Panel Discussion and questions & answers
Kathleen James-Chakraborty steers a discussion withCloé Pitiot, Ruth Starr and Jennifer Goff looking at Gray’s formative years, creative paths and social challenges as a Total Designer. 

11.25am Coffee interval 

11.45am Presentationon ‘Gray at auction – 40 years of discovery’
Philippe Daniel Garner (Director of Christie's Auctions and Sales, London) tells of how his professional activity in the auction world has given him unique opportunities to engage with works by Eileen Gray, including the selling of the Dragons chair. 

12.10pm Presentationon ‘Gray’s participation in the commercial design worlds’Daniel Aram (Managing Director of Aram Designs Ltd, London and worldwide License Holder of Eileen Gray designs) discusses why Gray’s last tasks in the early 1970s included working with Zeev Aram on introducing her designs into the world market. 

12.30pm Discussion and questions & answers
Philippe Daniel Garner, Daniel Aram and others discuss the various impacts of commissioning, client partnerships, collecting, manufacturing and the marketplace has had on the evolving reception of Gray’s work over the years.

12.50–2.00pm Lunch break and screenings, Lecture Room

2.00pm Presentation on ‘E-1027 - A House of ill Repute’
Beatriz Colomina (Architectural Historian and Professor of History and Theory of Architecture, Princeton University, USA) on Le Corbusier’s role in the controversy of E-1027.

2.30pm Presentation on ‘E-1027- A house by the sea’
Renaud Barrès (Architect and Director of CAUE, Carcassonne, France) discussed how E-1027 suffered greatly in the 1980s, when looted and abandoned, explaining why the subsequent restoration is equally as problematic.

3.00pm Discussion and questions & answers

Kathleen James-Chakraborty, Beatriz Colomina and Renaud Barrès on what we can learn from E-1027 in terms of preserving a modern building’s history and memory.         

3.45pm In Conversation – Memory and Modernity
Joseph Rykwert (Architectural Historian, Critic and 2014 RIBA Gold Medalist) and Shane O’ Toole (Architect, Historian, Writer and Campaigner for threatened buildings) discuss Rykwert’s infamous article Domus 469 and the architectural community’s rediscovery of Eileen Gray. Questions & Answers. 

4.30pm Final Words
Kathleen James-Chakraborty(Professor of Art History, University College Dublin) and other guests pay their tributes to Gray’s extraordinary achievements, and her legacy as a role model for today’s architects, designers and visual artists. 

4.50pm Close

This event is kindly supported by Dylan Hotel, the French Embassy in Ireland, Centre Pompidou, Paris and Aram Stores, London.

Other interesting content

Read news from the world of art